The hustings panel Source Finchley and Golders Green Labour on Twitter)

The hustings panel (Source Finchley and Golders Green Labour on Twitter)

Political rivals clashed over economic and foreign policy at a hustings in Golders Green on Tuesday night, with the Labour candidate seemingly hobbled by Ed Miliband’s recent record on Israel.

Audience member Michael Engel said: “Many people in this area are worried about the attitude of the parties toward the State of Israel and that lack of negotiation between Israel and Palestine.”

Sackman said: “On the issue of unilateral statehood [for Palestine] upset people… I publicly opposed it, not because I don’t wish to see a Palestinian state, but because I don’t think unilateral declarations are how we get there.”

Hustings chair Kelvin MacKenzie asked whether Sackman felt she would “suffer electorally in this constituency” as a result of her party’s view on this issue, the audience answered for her: “Yes” being the resounding answer.

“So am I right in thinking that you’d have all voted for me otherwise?” asked Sackman jovially, before adding: “Whatever party we belong to, we need to strengthen those moderate voices on both sides to bring them to the table.”

On the Palestinian vote, Freer said: “I suspect that Sarah and I do not disagree on Israel at all, but if you have a Labour MP, you are more likely to have a Labour government, and Ed Miliband said only weeks ago that he would recognise Palestine within two years – that is the risk.”

Freer later earned the night’s loudest applause in response to an audience member asking about gay marriage and whether freedom of speech allowed him to articulate “a traditional view of marriage”.

Freer, who married his long-term partner Angello in January, said: “You’re entitled to your opinion, you’re entitled to freedom of speech, but you’re not entitled to denigrate my views or my relationship.”

The London Jewish Forum event at the London Jewish Cultural Centre was media partnered by the Jewish News.

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